I’ll never get back the 144 minutes I spent watching the midnight premiere of “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker,” a movie that took everything we knew and loved about a galaxy far, far away and crashed it into the forest moon of Endor.
Although we can collectively agree that the final Star Wars trilogy was just shy of a dumpster fire, at least it did a half-decent job paying homage to fan-favorite aircraft from the original movies, including the X-wing.
Now, the famed Rebel Alliance aircraft similar to that flown by Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron has found a new home in Washington. On May 4, the internet-proclaimed Star Wars celebration day, the National Air and Space Museum announced that it was unveiling a new exhibit: a 37-foot X-wing from the latest films. The entry is the first Star Wars addition to the museum since it hosted a “Star Wars: Myth of Magic” exhibit in 1997.
“Despite taking place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars introduced generations of fans here on Earth to outer space as a setting for adventure and exploration,” Margaret Weitekamp, Space History chair at the museum, said in a release.
“All air and space milestones begin with inspiration, and science fiction so often provides that spark — the iconic X-wing displayed amid our other spacecraft celebrates the journey from imagination to achievement.”
Though the iconic craft received no love in the 1990s prequels, the most recent trilogy did resurrect them — quite literally. In what would become one of the most absurd plot holes in “Rise of Skywalker,” the ghost version of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) raises a drowned X-wing from the sea on Ahch-To so Rey (Daisy Ridley), who destroys her stolen TIE fighter (and only means off the planet), can kill her grandpa, also known as Sheev Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, also known as the Emperor, on a Sith planet called Exegol, which was conveniently never mentioned in previous movies.
Glaring directorial issues aside, this particular X-wing is currently undergoing conservation work in the museum’s restoration hangar, where fans can currently check it out.
The X-wing will be on display at the renovated Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in 2022.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.